By Holly Macdonald
"Material, form, and maker bring a random and brimming assortment of memories, stories and states into contact in the moments the ceramic object is formed. I like to think of the ceramic object almost as a by-product of these many elements pressing up against one-another. ‘Around’, a series of porcelain plates, prioritises these pressing forces and addresses them with immediacy.
I developed these works in short bursts of making and with the offcuts and remnants (clay, slips, various stain mixes) of past projects. Decision-making was shared with the material and studio environment. This is one of several strategies I work with to foster a more porous and collaborative mode of working and introduce some circularity into my use of the earth’s finite resources.
In this instance the language of the plate – a flat and circular surface area, a lip, a continuous line – has been pulled apart and reconstructed. The intention is to serve up, celebrate, perhaps even commemorate - as plates often do - the expressive qualities of raw clay and colour. ‘Around’, a word that contains circularity, movement, presence, and multiplicity, felt appropriate to gather these dubious plates together with."
Holly Macdonald is a visual artist living and working in Newcastle on unceded Awabakal and Worimi Country. Her practice is founded in ceramics and combines handbuilding in clay with installation, drawing, and interdisciplinary collaboration to explore the dynamic relationship between maker, material, and place.
Holly has exhibited work throughout Australia including solo exhibitions at Lake Macquarie's Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima (2022), Sabbia Gallery (2020, 2016), and Firstdraft (2017). This year her work was included in Maitland Regional Art Gallery’s major exhibition 'Upriver Downriver' and 'TERRA NOVA: 70 years of Sturt Pottery' at Sturt Gallery.
Recent collaborative outcomes include the premiere of participatory performance, 'Personal Space', with contemporary dancer/ choreographer Rosslyn Wythes at The 16th Australian Ceramics Triennale in Mparntwe/ Alice Springs.
She has undertaken residencies in the Northern Territory, France and Belgium, and in 2022 was awarded winner of the Brenda Clouten Memorial Art Scholarships.